U.S. Emergency Vehicle Accident Statistics

Emergency vehicles must often travel above the speed limit and make dangerous maneuvers to reach their destinations. Accidents involving firetrucks, ambulances, police cars, and other emergency vehicles could lead to serious injuries. A number of studies have been conducted to determine the number of accidents involving emergency vehicles in the United States annually.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report in 2014 regarding ambulance accidents from 1992-2011. North-Western National also conducted a study on 466 accidents involving ambulances. The NHTSA performed research on the number of firetruck accidents in the United States from 2000-2009. In addition, the University of Washington conducted a study of the number of pursuit-related accidents and fatalities each year.

Here are some key points that the researchers found:

  • Accidents involving firetrucks.
    • About 66% of all fatal firetruck accidents are rollovers
    • There were more than 31,600 firetruck accidents over a 10-year period
    • Nearly 70% of all firetruck accidents happen during emergency use
  • Accidents involving ambulances.
    • There are around 6,500 ambulance accidents each year in the U.S.
    • Nearly 60% of all ambulance accidents happen during emergency use
    • Emergency medical responders are more at risk for a crash than other first responders
  • Accidents involving police cars.
    • There are around 300 fatalities from pursuit-related crashes each year in the U.S.
    • Police officers are at double the risk of motor vehicle accidents per million vehicles driven as the general public
    • More than 30% of police car accident fatalities are people not involved in the pursuit

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